In keeping with the Chowhound spirit on my very first post, I will recommend two Chinese noodle soup places that my wife and I often frequent in Chinatown. I love Chinese Noodle soup from a good noodle soup house. It's healthy (if you dont mind all the carbs), delicious, and cheap. They have great spring rolls. I ordered the pork noodle soup once and didnt like it because all they did was put boiled ham in the soup.
The first place is the Nice Chinese Noodle Soup House on the corner of 11th and Race. I prefer the satay beef noodle soup my wife like the seafood noodle soup or if we are there in the morning or early afternoon, the Congie.
The second place is the Wing Tong (I think), it's on 10th Street about a block north of the Chinese Wall on the west side of the street. It has a fairly large hanging red sign with the name on it. I prefer the roasted pork noodle soup, duck noodle soup, and the wonton noodle soup.
Both place are plain in décor and they both offer full menus of Chinese food.
The first has all women servers and the second has all male servers. The second place the men servers seem to exert as little energy as possible (they shuffle their feet) but are very efficient at getting orders out. The ducks and assorted meats hang near the front of the stores where the round chopping blocks are. There's the constant sound of chopping. And there's a large kitchen in the back where they offer a large inexpensive menu, including limited dim sum.
Chinatown itself is a great place to explore. There are supermarkets and vegetable stands markets all over the place. And you find some really great food products, including American products, for a lot less than you would find in most stores. You really have to explore to find the right places for you. There's one place on 10th Street, just a few feet north of the Chinese Wall on the east side of the street, where I picked up great whole live lobsters for $7 a pound.
Anyway, I've been reading the boards and enjoying the conversation.